Giving back

Patrick Baker, Communications Deputy/CTO/Pub Ed, Okanogan County Sheriff

On the afternoon of 7/11/07 I was at work in Jacksonville, NC at a rehab facility for teen sex offenders when I got a call from a neighbor that I needed to come home. With further questioning I found out my wife Victoria had been shot and killed by her own brother!

I decided to move home to be with my parents in Washington state. I had secured a job working for our local juvenile detention once I moved home. Fast forward to June 2008. I hear that there was an opening at the sheriffs office in dispatch. I began looking into what exactly it was they did.

My eyes were opened! I immediately thought back to when my wife died and thought…OMG someone was there to answer the call when Vic needed help, what if I could return that favor and help someone else in need? Well here it is March 2016 and I am still here!

We all have a “dreaded call”, and mine of course was the “Helpmylovedonehasbeenshot!!” call. Well I faced that call about 2 years into my career when I took a call from a young man (14 years old) that had just witnessed his father get shot in the face at point blank range. The call bothered me, but in retrospect, my past had helped me relate to the loss this young man had suffered, and helped me to be more compassionate and understanding to what he had just gone through. I know that my wife’s death was unnecessary, but at the least it helped me to be better able to cope and help my community.